David Knight - 23rd Oct 2015

If you thought the video for Thone's Tharsis Sleeps - made up of individual frames created entirely on industrial weaving machines - was a unique achievement that could never be matched – well, you were right. But Tharsis Sleeps' co-director Nicos Livesey has now delivered another slab of awesome animation achievement. His video for rock band Radkey's Glore is joyous piledriver of a video highlighting the untramelled nutty delights of claymation.

Made for the revamped Random Acts on Channel 4, Nicos brings us a breakneck journey of psychedleic destruction, through deranged versions of Radkey's favourite and most hated TV moments - incorporating a few nods to a few lightly-disguised icons – all crammed into just over two punk rock minutes...

Harking back to the great old days of Jackie Wilson's Reet Petite and The Housemartins, and using a variety of claymation techniques influenced by pioneers such as Bruce Bickford and David Daniels, Nicos teamed up with ‘claysplotation artist’ Lee Hardcastle, working as an animation tag-team, until they realised they needed more animators - and lots more interns – for a lot of weeks...

For all you animation nerds, the stats make impressive reading: it took 10 weeks from start to finish, 5 stop-motion animators on 10-12 hour days, 18 interns, two 5am starts; two 5am finishes; one all-nighter; 435 bars of clay, "which weighs as much as this man is deadlifting", two bottles of factor 50 kids suncream); and "miraculously only one trip to the pub." That last one is quite hard to believe.

NICOS LIVESEY:

"With Radkey I really wanted to just create something that was super in your face, a barrage to the senses. I wanted it to be this thing you watched and once it was over you're kinda in shock of what the hell you just saw. Either you'd go back and re-watch it or just become a mad daze embedded in your head like a odd tripped out flu dream. 

"Once I heard that track I was so pleased to be able to work with something so raw, fast, short and in your face. The track just gave me that feel of skate videos, CKY, Jackass and Celebrity Death Match, that type of thing. Quick cuts, fast editing. Something happens, then bam you're onto the next thing. No time to breathe.

"Claymation came to mind purely because I had always wanted to do one. From Wallace & Gromit to Bruce Bickford, Will Vinton & David Daniels. Their work has seeped into my subconscious, I hadn't seen anything like that for so long I thought it be a great to revive it. 

"When it came to storyboarding the video I just liked the idea of there being a lot of different random scenes that where joined together with a loose story and because the band have such a clear style it just made sense to get them into the world themselves as full armatures. Claykey.

"I know the guys in the band and have hung out a bunch, so I knew that they love computer games, comic books, beer etc. So I thought a nice simple idea was to travel through a tripped out world of what Radkey love and hate. That's when I went down to road of referencing a whole heap of stuff.

"I would chat to they guys as I was storyboarding, so would come up with an idea like, "Hey, I have this character getting hit by an ambulance on a hill and then his guts spell "Glore", who do you hate? who could be destroyed?" instantly they're like: "TOM NOOK!" I have no clue who this is, turns out he's some character from Animal Crossing..."

Credits

Lead AnimatorLee Hardcastle
DirectorNicos Livesey
ProducerNicos Livesey
Executive ProducerBart Yates
ProducerAlli Albion
ProducerMatt Marsh
Production ManagerJen Newman
Director of PhotographyChristophe Leignel
Production CompanyBlinkink
AnimatorAndy Biddle
AnimatorCarmen Mason
AnimatorLuke George
AnimatorNicos Livesey
ColouristJoseph Bicknell
LabelStrange Loop Records
CommissionerMatthew Greer
CommissionerPegah Farahmand
Other creditsBand Head Sculpts & Moulds: Davide Losi Modelmakers: Pixie Highley, Lynn Yun, Sara Aunbirk, Isabel Garratt, Rachael Olga Lloyd, Emma Rose-Dade, Guy Verge Wallace, Will Horne, Harriet Upson, Adeena Grubb, Jake Hovell, Holly James, Kat Simpson, Yan Wong, Stephanie Hope Compositors: Felip Docolomansky, Simone Ghilardotti, Valeria Di Claudio, Sara Aunbirk Thanks: Newplast Products Limited, Clapham Road Studios, Blinkink Studio, Radkey, Channel 4, Strange Loop Records

David Knight - 23rd Oct 2015

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